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Ownership of US Media Icon, Forbes, Shifts to Hong Kong Consortium

By: PanAm Post Staff - Jul 21, 2014, 8:17 am

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Forbes Media, which has been on the market for about a year, announced on friday that they have found a buyer. Newly formed and Hong Kong-based Integrated Whale Media Investments (IWM), a consortium of international investors, has bought a majority stake in the company.

The group is led by Integrated Asset Management (Asia) Limited (IAM), founded by Tak Cheung Yam. The Hong Kong-based investment company is engaged in public and private equity investments, with expertise in telecommunications, finance, and technology.

The purchase generates an estimated US$475 million value for the company, and Forbes Chairman and Editor in Chief Steve Forbes has stated the new investors own “the vast majority” of what used to be his family’s company.

“While today marks a fundamental turning point in this 97-year-old company founded by my grandfather, it should be seen as an opportunity to continue and strengthen our mission,” said Steve Forbes, who will retain his positions, as announced in a blog post on the sale.

Forbes — which claims to reach 75 million people worldwide every month through its print, digital, TV, conferences, and research ventures — began looking for a buyer last November. Forbes will continue to be headquartered in the United States, but announced plans for an international expansion.

Forbes magazine dates back to 1917, but didn’t really hit its stride as a mainstream publication until the 1960s, when it earned a reputation for both lionizing and criticizing business moguls. Today the company is primarily driven by its website, which relies heavily on contributors who write for little or no pay. Forbes.com has a US audience of 28.5 million individuals per year, according to Comscore.

Sources: Forbes, BBC News, ReCode.